Lawmakers will be looking at the issue of lead shot use again this legislative session. The shot was banned last August because of concerns that the shot poisoned eagles and other wildlife. Those who wish to see the ban reversed say that while lead shot may kill a few animals that ingest it, it has no effect on the populations of those animals as a whole. Hunters want to use the shot because it’s cheaper and some even say it’s more effective.
Steve Waters, Southeast Iowa Regional Fisheries Supervisor, says the lead doesn’t effect the populations of fish.
He also cited a comment made by Dale Garner, Chief of the Wildlife Bureau of the IDNR, who said there is currently no credible scientific evidence that suggest lead ammunition is negatively effecting any wildlife at the population level, however because of recent concerns brought forth by the public with respect to impacts of lead on individual bald eagles, the department and Iowa State University has initiated a study on nesting bald eagles to determine the incidents of lead in the resident population.
If lawmakers don’t act on this issue, the lead shot ban will go into effect in Spring when the legislature adjourns. For more information on lead shot and its impacts on wildlife, listen to a two part In Touch program starting tomorrow.